WorldNetDaily has become rather fond of Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent years -- which became even more prevalent during the Trump presidency, since taking President Trump's side on whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election effectively means taking Putin's side.
WND takes that love for a dictator a step further in an Aug. 26 article, in which an anonymous writer tries to shoot down the idea that Putin is anti-Semitic by -- apropos of no particular news hook -- touting a 2012 visit he made to Jerusalem:
He’s been called an anti-Semite.
He was challenged recently by Jewish leaders and American media for blaming so-called “Russian meddling” in the 2016 presidential election on Jews.
In fact, some Jewish and Christian Bible prophecy watchers suspect he is the infamous of Gog of Ezekiel 38-39 – an anti-Messiah figure they believe leads a last days invasion of Israel along with Persia (Iran) and a coalition of other countries.
Those accusations and suspicions have been made against none of other than Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia.
Yet, Putin maintains a deep and complex relationship with Russian Jews, Israeli leaders and the state of Israel. He also supported the founding of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, even donating his own money, has stated his “fierce opposition to any manifestation of anti-Semitism and xenophobia,” ensured the return of many synagogues to Russian Jews previously seized by the Soviets and in 2015 initiated a law against anti-Semitic biblical commentary.
He has also visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall three times, donning a yarmulke and praying.
Perhaps the most dramatic, surprising and little-known of those visits, his third and most recent, came June 26, 2012, when he made an early morning pilgrimage to both the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall sometime after 2 a.m., saying he did not want to miss out on seeing the two sites that offer a “special feeling.” His first visit came when he as first elected president, the second in 2005, during Passover – all odd behavior for an anti-Semite, blaming Jews for meddling in a U.S. election and for a Gog candidate.
What did Putin pray for during his quiet visit to the Kotel in 2012?
Shortly afterward, an Israeli bystander called out in Russian, “Welcome, President Putin.” Putin approached the man, who explained the importance of the Temple Mount and the Jewish Temple. Putin responded in a video-recorded conversation reported in Chadrei Charedim, an Orthodox Hebrew news site, “That’s exactly the reason I came here – to pray for the Temple to be built again.”
Putin shook the unidentified man’s hand and added with a smile, “I wish you that your prayers will be received.”
A person who witnessed the three-minute conversation said, “I guess he’s is not as closed and tough as we thought.”
The anonymous writer does admit that "tensions between Israel and Russia remain high because of Moscow’s alliance with Iran and the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad." Though, clearly, not so high that WND can't gush over its favorite Russian strongman -- albeit without anyone apparently willing to put their name to it.